Additional £1.1m received for digital skills bootcamps

West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has received an additional £1.1m of funding from the government for more digital skills bootcamps.

Funding will allow another 300 residents to take part in nine skills bootcamps covering cybersecurity, coding, digital marketing, TV and film production, AI and machine learning, and more.

The free of charge bootcamps are to support the unemployed and those seeking a career change, as well as employed people looking to enhance their digital skills for their current role or a promotion.

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands and Chair of the WMCA, said: “Retraining and upskilling have such critical roles to play in our region’s economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, and are a cornerstone of my jobs plan to help 100,000 people into work in the next two years.

“We know that training in the skills of the future that employers want and need is a crucial way to help people bounce back into employment quickly, and technology is an area of huge employment possibilities that we must help people get the right skills in.”

The skills training will be industry lead by BritAsia TV, Generation You Employed, Netcom, NIYO Enterprise and The Development Manager. The links to these companies will give trainees contacts with other local employers that provide guaranteed interviews and job opportunities.

Tony Shergill, CEO of BritAsia TV, which is providing two of the new bootcamps, added: “The bootcamps will give them the chance to gain real-world media experience, develop or refine technical and practical skills, and improve on key soft and transferrable skills, which are so important for career progression.

“In the case of BritAsia TV’s bootcamps, participants will also achieve a CPD accreditation – a widely recognised career development practice within the industry.”

To date, WMCA has received £7 million in funding, with which it has piloted over 30 digital bootcamps, training around 2,000 adults, who were unemployed or in low-paid jobs, with vital tech skills.

Over the next three years, WMCA aims to support over 4,000 people through its bootcamps. Its latest round of bootcamps began in November, with the nine additional courses commencing in January 2022.